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Are You Experiencing Domestic Abuse From An Ex-Partner?

Our People - Peter Bushell
6 September, 2023

If you are experiencing domestic abuse from an ex-partner whether the abuse started during the relationship or after it ended, know this: you are not alone.

There is help available, and you deserve to be safe. In an emergency, call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline at 0808 2000 247.

Leaving an abusive situation can be incredibly difficult. We understand that you may not be ready to take legal action yet. However, there are resources available to help you stay safe and plan for your future. The Family Courts have the ability to provide victims of domestic abuse with protective ‘injunction’ orders to ensure their safety and well-being.

Understanding Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is a pattern of controlling and threatening behaviour used to gain power over an intimate partner, even after the relationship has ended. It can be physical, emotional, financial, or technological. Here are some warning signs:

  • Unwanted contact: Your ex keeps calling, texting, or emailing you.
  • Stalking: Your ex follows you, watches your house, or monitors your online activity.
  • Threats: Your ex threatens you with violence or harm to yourself or loved ones.
  • Financial abuse: Your ex withholds financial support or tries to control your finances.

Protective Orders in Family Courts for Victims of Domestic Abuse

In situations involving domestic abuse, there are two primary types of protective orders that can be obtained through the Family Courts: Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders. These orders serve distinct purposes and aim to provide victims with the necessary protection and control over their living situation.

Non-Molestation Orders: Protection from Harm

Non-Molestation Orders are specifically designed to prevent your ex-partner from causing harm or making threats against you. In cases where the circumstances are severe, an order can be applied for ‘without notice.’ This means that the court can grant the order without your ex-partner being present or able to argue against it. This approach ensures that you can obtain a protective order before your ex-partner becomes aware of your request to the court.

Under a Non-Molestation Order, the court may establish ‘Zonal Orders’ to establish specific safety measures. For instance, your ex-partner may be prohibited from coming within a certain distance, such as 200 meters, of your location or address. Moreover, the order can be extended to protect your children if they are under the age of 18.

It is important to note that breaching a Non-Molestation Order is a criminal offense. If you have such an order in place and believe that your ex-partner has violated its terms, you should contact the police, as they have the authority to make an arrest.

Occupation Orders: Regaining Control of Your Living Situation

If you are still residing with your ex-partner or if you have left the property and wish to return, you will need to apply to the court for an Occupation Order. This type of order determines who can occupy a property, providing you with the means to safely live in the residence.

Unlike breaching a Non-Molestation Order, breaching an Occupation Order is not considered a criminal offense. To address this issue, it is essential to request that the court attach a power of arrest to any breaches of the order’s terms. This empowers the authorities to take appropriate action in the event of a violation.

Legal Aid for Obtaining an Injunction

Legal aid is available for individuals seeking an injunction from the court. This means that your legal fees can be covered by the Legal Aid Agency, depending on your financial means, including your assets and income. If you require legal aid, it is important to understand the process and eligibility requirements.

If you are experiencing any form of domestic abuse, we strongly encourage you to reach out to us for assistance. Our team can guide you through your options and the process of obtaining legal aid. Please rest assured that any information shared with us will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

Contact Us for Assistance with Domestic Abuse Cases

If you require immediate support or have any questions regarding domestic abuse cases, please feel free to contact our office. Our dedicated team of Family Lawyers is here to provide guidance and assistance. You can reach us by phone at 020 8492 2290 to speak directly with a member of our team or email us at sols@gnlaw.co.uk.

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